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Seahawks OC candidate Pep Hamilton
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Bumpus: Pep Hamilton should be favorite for Seahawks’ OC opening

Pep Hamilton is reportedly in the mix for the Seahawks' OC opening. (Getty)

Since the Seahawks made the surprising decision to part ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the team has been linked to a number of names for the opening.

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The Seahawks have reportedly talked to at least three coaches who were head coaches in 2020: former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, former Jets coach Adam Gase and former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn.

Seattle has also been linked to position coaches, such as Raiders running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who is one of the newer names added to the list.

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus said that Wilson is a “well-respected position coach,” but he wouldn’t be a fan of the hire.

“He’s a running backs coach and that kind of scares me,” Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. “I don’t want to just be a ground and pound-type of team.”

The guy Bumpus was really holding out hope for was Chiefs passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, who ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the Seahawks were looking to talk to about the opening. But CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported soon after that Kafka will stay in Kansas City as he’s expected to be the team’s next offensive coordinator once the man who currently holds that position, Eric Bieniemy, gets hired as a head coach.

With Kafka seemingly off the table, Bumpus has a new pick for who he would like to see calling plays for the Seahawks next season.

“I’m down to Pep Hamilton,” he said.

Hamilton, 46, was Chargers quarterbacks coach in 2020 and helped with the development of rookie Justin Herbert, who had one of the best seasons by a rookie quarterback in NFL history, if not the best. Hamilton was one of the first coaches linked to the Seahawks after Schottenheimer was fired early last week.

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While Hamilton coached quarterbacks in 2020, he has far more experience than just coaching one position.

“He’s been around football coaching for 17 years in college, the NFL, he was the head coach and general manager for the D.C. Defenders, and honestly, while the XFL was hot, they were one of my favorite teams to watch,” Bumpus said. “They were explosive, I loved their offense, they had some good receivers. So right now, I’ve got to go with Pep.”

Hamilton also has offensive coordinator experience at both the NFL and college level. He called plays at Stanford in 2011 and 2012 before being named offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts in 2013, a position he held until 2015.

He was also the assistant head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2016 in addition to being quarterbacks coach, and in 2017 and 2018 he was the assistant head coach and passing coordinator at the University of Michigan. Before his first offensive coordinator job at Stanford, Hamilton coached either receivers or quarterbacks in the NFL from 2004 to 2009 before coaching receivers at Stanford in 2010, a year before he was named offensive coordinator.

“On paper, he is ready to go,” Bumpus said. “Right now, I’m rocking with Pep.”

Bumpus said he has some reservations about the Seahawks seemingly content to let this process play out instead of not going hard after one specific candidate, but admitted that there can be an upside to taking time to make a decision of this magnitude.

“If they are talking to guys and no one has impressed them yet, then I’m OK with them taking their time, because this is crucial,” he said. “They know they have to get this thing right. This is probably the last offensive coordinator for the Seahawks as long as Pete Carroll is there.”

Carroll, who has been with the Seahawks since 2010, is under contract through the 2025 season, and the next offensive coordinator will be his fourth in Seattle.

Listen to Bumpus’ full thoughts in the second hour of Friday’s Danny and Gallant at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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